Saturday, October 15, 2016

Painting on a Purpose of/in Life

There is no genetic purpose of life beyond reproduction, and it is not important to reproduce anymore; humans are too effective at that now. We need to paint on a personal purpose, one to give meaning to our own lives. This search for meaning, value becomes the prime motivation in our lives. Frankl saw this in his life and wrote "Man's Search for Meaning." What we chose should be clear of money, power, prestige, perhaps happiness, and be open ended, for these are more a function of luck than our effort. We should apply meaning to something within our control, and that way we are more likely to to be able to acheive success.

We are free to change our search several times each day. First we can serve our clients, our employer, and provide a service that has value to us to the end client or customer. Work that provides something that we do not value will be just for the revenue, which is not good motivator long term for some. If it is just money, that unethical gains become the easy way, and become the default, which is not good for society. We need some money, but we also need to enjoy our work and life. We must become willing to live on the funds that an occupation can generate. Greed is not a good characteristic, but it is heavily promoted as good in modern life. Evil mass media.

There is no doubt that my search for meaning drove my life in the past. It was first to get enough together, money, to leave my ancestral home and assumed occupation. There was a change from away from something to toward something. Then to get enough together to get an education, than to get that education, expand that into a career, step wise. Along the way I lost interest in much of the industry, so much bullshit for so few good projects. Oh well, I retired.
Now the search for meaning takes a different direction, money is not the primary concern, but a secondary issue. That is much better but has much less urgency and less future.

I agree with what Frankl saw as the meaning that provides the primary motivation for action. It is essential for life, but along the way are the rules of conduct that keep us from doing wrong, our virtues that we select, for life. Stoic and Buddhist concepts outline life much better in this area, but Frankl provides the understanding for motivation better than anyone. Maslow and Adler fix up the broken, Positive Psychology Friedman and Seligman outline the requirements, many religions provide a complete system if we have " buy in" into there hypothesis presented as facts, but untruth is easy to spot. There are no god's. There is nothing beyond this life, make it or not. There is nothing wrong with an ordinary life. That is what we should aspire to, as it is the most likely outcome. Being extraordinary is more luck and chance of birth, genes, and opportunity that under our control.

Now what is under our control? Our attitude, our ability to choose our attitude, our ability to choose our beliefs, our values, our ability to ascent or decent to concepts, ideas, proposals, our likes, dislikes, and to make thing neutral, not caring about, to some extent, and now our meaning which is the seed of motivation, from which effort comes. The Stoics had similar ideas of what was within our control and what was not. Oh well, itewajda (in the end we all just die anyway.)

Until then, however, we live in an overpopulated world that is losing the environmental race. We are headed for a rough patch, declining fish stocks, air quality problems, increasing carbon dioxide, declining oxygen, declining sea ice, and once that sea ice goes, methane release from the melting methane hydrate. That will be the near end of humans, the great die off. Those who survive will be able to live and reproduce in a hot dry climate, until the next dust producing event. Oh well, itewajda.  

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